Food Stuff

A Winter Tomato Worth Buying

Lucky Lee has been selling vine-ripened Florida tomatoes for decades, mainly to restaurants in winter. Now she has a new one, a hefty crimson beefsteak. It's meaty, juicy, flavorful and, yes, a winter tomato that's actually worth buying. Called the Tasti-Lee, it is a hybrid developed by Jay Scott, a tomato breeder at the University of Florida. The Lee part of the name, though, has nothing to do with Ms. Lee, the distributor who has just introduced them in the New York area; Mr. Scott named the tomato in honor of his late mother-in law, Leocadia Czarnomski. Tasti-Lee tomatoes come two to a package, about a pound, for $2.50 until mid-February, and $3.50 after that, at Agata & Valentina, Eataly, Gourmet Garage and at Tarry Market in Port Chester, N.Y. They are available by the case (24 packages of two tomatoes each) for $56, plus shipping, from

A version of this article appeared in print on January 25, 2012, on page D4 of the New York edition with the headline: A Winter Tomato Worth Buying.

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An Extraordinary Tasting with 20 of the best restaurants in New York including: Nobu, Landmarc, Bouloud Sud, Aureole, Gilt, Spice Market, Buddakan, Negril, Ai Fiori & Sea Grill’ & Wine pairings by Sud de France.

The 7th Annual “The Great Gathering of Chefs” brings together 150 of some of the world’s most celebrated chefs to raise money for “Action Against Hunger”.  It is the launch party for the two new books “Salads” & “Pies” by renowned photographer Battman, a.k.a. Alan Batt. Participating in the books are over 200 chefs  such as Eric Ripert, Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Michael White, Jean Georges Vongericht, Michael Laiskonis, Emeril, Daniel Boulud, and Nobu,  just to mention a few.

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The Leopard - New York Times Review

Lucky's Real Tomatoes thanks Sam Sifton for the nice things he said about our very special tomatoes! Chef Vito has used them for years at Il Gattopardo and is now serving them at The Leopard. We read "Tomatoland" and salute Barry Estabrook for an intriguing read. However, we are proud that our company is the very antithesis of that book. Congrats to the Sorrentinos on their wonderful new restaurant. See excerpt below.

"[B]urrata cheese of exceptional creaminess served with juice-bursting tomatoes ... is a dish that tastes not simply of summer, but of pleasant and pleasing affluence, of a tomatoland that exists somewhere far from the one described in Barry Estabrook’s important new book on the horrors of industrial tomato farming in Immokalee, Fla." —Sam Sifton, in his review of the Leopard at des Artistes, writing what might just be the first-ever instance of product placement in a dish description.
click here for the complete review


Lucky's Real Tomatoes was chosen to participate in a community project by the "Phun Phactory" in Brooklyn . It is a wonderful, artistic endeavor of organized and talented graffiti artists to express their talents! Please come by to visit their inspiring work on the Lucky's Real Tomatoes building. Or, if you can't visit us, visit their website at to see more of their amazing aerosol artwork and murals.

At the James Beard benefit--Chefs and Champagne,  the wonderful restaurant BENOIT,  featured Lucky's Real Tomatoes specialty heirloom varieties in their delicious presentation!

Read the artical published in Scarpetta - 2009.
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Members of the Lucky’s Real Tomato Team were fortunate to see the preview of this extraordinary film, FOOD, INC.
click here for full review

Lucky visits with
Andre Soltner 
The world renown and greatly loved chef,  Andre Soltner visits with Lucky at the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show in NYC!

“Four Star Restaurants, and restaurants who want Four Star Tomatoes!"